I suppose it all started when this happened:
They were loose last time I put them on. I know they're a decade old, but perhaps two months of comfort eating has left its mark. I hardly ever wear jeans.
The minute I sat down in them, my nether end made contact with the outside world in a big way, which was seriously depressing. So I put on a dress instead, and went to the fruit market.
(This is called serious foreshortening, but do note the staightness of the falling drapery.
One of the ladies who works there eyed off my smock dress. 'So, your'e expecting!'
'Er, no, actually, I replied,
thinking to myself what a rude beast she was, and smoothing down my front, to show her nothing there. I mean, I am ample, but as far as I remember, the baby bump pokes out the front, not the back. hmph.
'oh, thats good', she continued cheerily. 'It wouldn't be such a good idea at your age!'
You just wouldn't say it, would you?
Feeling rather sorry for myself and my battered self image, I arrived home and wandered out the back. This little guy was sitting on the back of one of the chairs. I went and stood right beside him.
He gave me a look and asked, 'what is it you want?'
and I realised that birds know no boundaries, they have no word for old, and to him, I was standing in his garden. The mound of droppings under the chair informed me that he sits there all the time.
"Tell me your name" I said, and he clacked his beak before returning his gaze to the lizards in the bushes.
I couldn't make out what he said.
I left him to it, and decided to take my chances on the sea shore.
' you old snash, you old stinky'* I shriek at the sea. 'Can't keep me out'
It was still rolling about in a sly and mean fashion, that sea, and there was a sign saying 'beach closed'.
The lifeguards stood up and moved to come down when they saw me going in, but I adopted the guise of a blackfish and slipped in low. They both swore they saw a person for a second, but convinced themselves they must have been dreaming of fish .
When I was deep under I found myself turned the colour of stones, greys and blacks. I liked the feel of my hair tugging and floating. My heart racing as I slip along channels and wash down the beach. No fish here! I call to the startled fisherman.
And while I am there I think of many things. Poems and pictures and stones and magic and birds and fish.
I emerge with a headful of wonder.
Sinkers the Lifeguard stands up, and scratches his head.
The smell of fish and chips drifts down from the cafe.
I shake out my wet hair, and go shiny and dripping back home.
*Acknowledgment for this phrase to Ganching. See Seamus at his Rest